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SSAS Refresh from cube

Jul 9, 2014 at 8:28 PM
in 2008 ssas you used to be able to do a "live" connection from a project. Obviously that's dangerous to do (like being connected to prod and accidentally saving a change...) and I'm sure that's why they got rid of it.

However, for our cube, I have a dynamic process to create process and delete partitions by month for our SSAS cube (all done in SSIS). But, what that means for my project file is that it will get out of date. And that means that If I deploy the cube from Visual Studio, all my partitions get blown away, get reprocessed from the old partition.

I would be very helpful (same with the calculations) to have a "refresh this from server" button work for the various "tabs"

My current work around is to create a new solution pulled from the server, and then move files around, etc.
Jul 9, 2014 at 11:54 PM
I usually just use the built-in Analysis Services Deployment Utility to deploy the solution and choose the option to retain the partitions on the server. It works fine as long as you have not changed the structure of the partitioned measure group. But then you are going to have to do a full process of that measure group anyway...

While I think it would be possible to incorporate this into BIDS Helper, I'm worried that it would be possible to corrupt a solution if operations were done in the wrong order. So if you started adding columns to a measure group and then remembered that you needed to bring in partitions from prod you could end up with mismatching definitions.

If the default Deployment Utility is not suitable I tend to think that a custom deployment utility is probably a better solution to this issue than a BIDS Helper extension. It's pretty hard to write something generic in BIDS Helper that would work in all scenarios. Where as building something that is aware of the particular partitioning scheme that is in use would be a lot safer.

I also like the idea of not checking in changes to source control just because new partitions were generated in production. I think you should keep a development set of partitions in source control and then the only changes checked in should be design changes.
Marked as answer by furmangg on 3/17/2015 at 5:30 PM
Jul 10, 2014 at 5:05 PM
I'll look for that switch to keep the partitions on the server. I'm guessing though that you are correct, there maybe an issue of corruption, etc. I know Redgate had an SSAS schema compare tool but they abandoned it a couple years ago. Probably for the same reasons you stated. Too difficult to not mess something up.

Thanks for the quick reply!